Dufner’s Pass at The Barclays Highlights Fault in FedEx Cup Playoffs

by Jeff Skinner

Just when The FedEx Playoffs looked to have gained the valued recognition that Tim Finchem has so desperately tried to generate The Playoffs took another blow when Jason Dufner announced he’ll pass on playing at this week’s Barclay’s Championship.

Dufner currently sits in third place in the points race and if he wins today or finishes second he’ll pass Tiger Woods for the lead.  And then he’ll be absent from the first round of the Playoffs.  How can you call it playoffs is you can miss a round and still win.  Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson made news early in the playoffs beginning when they opted to take a week off.  Jim Furyk was disqualified when he overslept in 2010 and missed his pro-am tee time at The Barclays.  And all he did was go on to win the FedEx Cup and the $10 million that goes with it.

Here is the obvious flaw in the FedEx Cup Playoffs:  you don’t have to play them all to win.  How can we call them playoffs?  The word playoff denotes a certain finality.  Could the Giants and Patriots of the NFL take a pass on a playoff week and rest on their regular season record and still win the Super Bowl.

I don’t blame Dufner for taking the week off as he would have played in six straight weeks and then still be expected to be fresh for the Tour Championship and then the pressure packed Ryder Cup.  The flaw lies in the system.  Scheduling down time on the tour during the playoffs is impossible, especially in a Ryder Cup year but something is weird here.  Playoffs mean everyone plays and one loss knocks you out of contention.  But the tour has yet to solution this problem.

You can’t fault the players for trying to preserve their energy for a very long golf season.  But The FedEx Cup Playoffs certainly take a hit when we see top players take a week off.  Back to the drawing board Mr. Commissioner.


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